2014 Camp Quality Christmas light run


camp quality logo - LARGE

On Thursday 18th December 2014 Santa will be visiting The Mandurah Offshore Fishing and Sailing club to hand out presents to the Camp quality children before heading off on a tour of the canals to look at the Christmas lights.

Please assist with a present costing up to $10.00 wrapped & marked boy or girl with the age and anyone with a small boat able to pick up, ferry the children and their families around the canals to look at the lights and drop them back at the Club when finished.

 You may drop your donated presents in the boxes provided at the following

Mandurah Offshore Fishing and Sailing Club, 115 Breakwater Parade, Ocean Marina, Mandurah

Or

 Mandurah Country Club        16 Marsh Place Halls Head 9581 2968

 Please contact W Treby on the following email if you are able to assist with a boat on the night.

 wtreby@airefrig.com.au

 We really need your help.

Thank you

  20141130_193707      Santa in July   Christmas tree lights 2009

Christmas tree lights 2009

Christmas (Xmas) in July Grainger Style


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I love Christmas, well Santa’s really.

I have loads and loads of Santa’s and his helpers, some hand made and some bought, but I love them all.

10 years ago our  sons moved out of home and that was the last time that my Santa’s and his helpers saw the light of day. Last November, due to major health issues my in-laws moved into our home, and Grumpy Grainger decided that the Santa’s and his helpers could move to our lock up, poor buggers, banished to the cold and damp. So he picked them all up and took them down to the dark and damp lock up, where they sat waiting patiently for me to set our house up at Christmas time, that wasn’t going to happen or organise a  Xmas in July.

What started out as me wanting to set up our home with the Santa’s and his helpers turned out to be a wonderful evening.

I initially put up an expression of interest for our friends on Facebook, expecting no more than about 20 of our friends, and all of our friends said that they wanted to come, so I decided to contact our club and see if we could hold the function (the numbers had grown to about 40 people at this stage and we didn’t want to have that many people in our home on a cold winters evening) at the MOFSC, well it took a bit of pressure on my part with a lot of pressure from Grumpy and we finally agreed on a cost for the meal and the night so I then created flyers and tickets, and each Thursday and Friday evenings I put flyers around the club and on the Saturday evenings, the girls from the restaurant put more flyers on the tables.

Well the numbers got to 72 on the evening, however 1 couple were not able to come as poor Marina broke her arm on her bike the previous weekend, so we had 70 attendees.

It was so much fun, the theme for Secret Santa presents was naughty or nice, and everyone had to buy a gift for the same sex to the value of $15, wrap it in newspaper and put a B for boy and G for girl on it, some people didn’t read the instructions very well and wrapped then pressies in pretty or Xmas paper.

We had a big blow up Santa on a Harley Davidson in the corner, on loan from Diane & Coleman, Anita borrowed some fantastic reindeer (Some were handmade) from her art class, we had a true Aussie Christmas tree (a potted green ficus), with g strings attached, decorated in true Christmas form and Santa’s and their helpers everywhere. The dinner started at 6:30 and once it was dark outside and the lights on the setting was like a true Christmas grotto.

Some of the pressies were a real laugh and everyone got into the spirit of the evening, I even dressed up as Sassy (my friend Bryan called me Sexy) Mother Christmas with my lovely short dress, stockings and broken suspenders.

A big thankyou to the ladies who came and helped me set up the Santa’s and the tables.

All we have to do now is book again for next year, I am thinking the theme might be hand made or DIY??

Thermomix Degustation – Grainger Style


The idea started last year when I commented to one of my friends that I haven’t used my Thermomix as much as I should.

Terry, my friends husband said that they would invite us over one free weekend to have a Thermomix dinner, however 12 months on and we still hadn’t organised something.

Thermomix. Receta MiniMagdalenas

Thermomix. Receta MiniMagdalenas (Photo credit: chocolatisimo)

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So I thought I might have another Thermomix dinner party with a few friends, after mentioning to a couple of friends, it has now turned into a Thermomix Degustation dinner, Grainger Style.

One of our friends sells the machines, so I asked Margy what she thought of the idea and she thought it was fantastic, so I mentioned my idea to a few more people, ladies who don’t have a thermie, and they too were excited.
The general consensus was great idea, so I decided on a date 12th April (Terry & Marina were on holiday until 11th and so were Diane & Coleman) and we have other friends going away on the 16th, so the 12th was the date.
I sat down and went through the Everyday cookbook (the new one), wrote down a whole list of recipes that I thought we could cook easily.  I was short a few, so rang Margy and asked her to give me some ideas.
Between the 2 of us we came up with a fantastic menu for our degustation.  By this time, I had loads of people asking if they could come, due to space, unfortunately we had to limit the numbers to 28.  Including Greg and myself after the invites and responses we have 25 attendees.
We decided that we would have our dinner party at the club (MOFSC), however, I won’t go into details, but the powers that be decided to put up too many  roadblocks, in my opinion unwarranted, (they obviously did not want us to be there), so now we are having it at our house.  Since starting this, we have had that many people ask if they can come to the next one, so hopefully if everything goes well tomorrow, there will be plenty more to come, but we will have to limit the number to 25 if we have a sit down meal.
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Greg set up all the tables and chairs last weekend, cleaned the windows and is generally being a good sport about the whole thing, given that he does not think much of the thermie.
I have spent this last week sorting out menus, ingredient lists and quantities, emailing all invited and asking for donations of food, that we require small quantities so that we  don’t have to spend a lot of money to buy stuff especially if we only need 50g of something.
I cant believe how generous everyone has been, I think that everyone has donated something to the mix
We now have 6 machines coming, wow!! I am sure it will be a fantastic evening.
We wanted to create and cook a large variety of food to be able to utilise the machine as much as possible, hence the degustation.
I have sorted out a few of the pantry items,both out of my pantry and some of the invited guests have given me their donations early.
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Table cloths, table settings, the table pretties (balloons & marshmallows) organised by Shelley and Marina, meat by Margy, groceries by Greg & Lee, thermies, and accessories by Marina, Shelley, Margy, Lee, Michelle and Julie, name place  settings by Maxine,lots of donations from all of the other ladies.
Thanks girls.
Our menu for our inaugural Thermomix degustation :-
Cocktails
Midori Splice
Strawberry Daiquiri
Peach Bellini
Tropical splice daiquiri
Home made lemonade
Appetisers
Sundried tomato dip
Herb & garlic dip
Capsicum & sundried tomato dip
Chicken liver pate
Foccacia – dukkah
Pizza Bianca
Entrees
Chicken Valute soup
Pumpkin feta zucchini field mushroom
Herbal chicken hors doeuvres
Arancini with saffron aioli
Mains
Chicken Valute meal
Lamb rack with port sauce on mashed potato
Beef stroganoff & mashed potato
Curry chicken & rice
Mushroom risotto
Desserts
Sweet chocolate & strawberry pizza
Lemon coconut pudding
Simple almond cheese – dairy free ricotta cheese with quince paste
Sticky date pudding / butterscotch sauce & custard
Fruity berry dream

Life can get in the way sometimes.


Life can get in the way sometimes. It certainly did in our family.

On the 16th of November, at 6.30pm, we were on our boat in Dawesville tied up with 3 other boats ready to stay overnight when we got the dreaded phone call, Greg’s mother had been taken to Peel hospital with a suspected stroke and we had to untie the other boats tied alongside us and head back to Mandurah as fast as we could so that we could park the boat, drop the little girl off and go and pick up his father and take him to the hospital.

Mum was in Peel Health campus for nearly 2 weeks, what an absolute nightmare!! Unfortunately her stay was a nightmare for all of us,  every time we called the hospital, we were given conflicting info, there didn’t see to be any consistency with anything, she was told that she could leave on several occasions, she’d get dressed and then someone would come and tell her she had to stay. One thing that I must say is that the nursing staff were absolutely fantastic in their treatment of her, however, every other aspect of her stay, was deplorable.

On the Tuesday, 2 days after the stroke, the hospital had a social worker visit her in her  ward, she gave Mum a  on having an ACAT (Aged Care Assessment Team) and advised her that she should organise it asap.  Given that she was in hospital, I took the form and said I would follow this up. On phoning the Peel ACAT service, I was advised that the hospital MUST request the ACAT referral, I contacted the hospital and asked when this could be booked and was told that they weren’t going to request one, until she was ready to be released, the bottom line was that they didn’t request one until I started jumping up and down and complaining to anyone who would listen. Luckily, I went to the city with my mum to have a high tea  with my daughter in law and one of the ladies who also attended works for a company that is associated with aged care, she put me in touch with someone who was able to rattle some cages.

We also tried to get an ACAT assessment for Dad, sadly, this was also a drama.

While all of this was happening, we realised that Greg’s father was not doing too well either, he was forgetting things that we had said a short while before and it was consistent.  On the following weekend, we had arranged to pick him up from his home and take him to visit the hospital when we found that he was missing, he had told a neighbour that he was driving to Fremantle hospital and that he had moved in with Greg & Lee, (they were going to move in with us but not until after Mum had come out of hospital.

When she was finally ready to be released, they lost her medicine list, and her file, they FORGOT to do a INR (Warfarin test) on her in the morning, so we had to stay at the hospital for another 2 hours until firstly the paperwork was found and secondly wait until someone was able to come and do the INR test. They phoned us at home later that evening with the results, and which tablets she was to have.

After she was released from hospital, both of them, their cat and their dog moved in with us, this is when the not so fun started.

While struggling with the dementia, we had serious issues with getting  his diabetes and insulin levels correct, luckily we were able to phone health direct for advice, that however was a nightmare!!! trying to help someone else, privacy and all that, tough luck if he had been dying.

We finally got the ACAT assessments both booked for the same day it turns out Dad has Alzheimer’s and advanced Dementia so we got a double whammy. The ACAT is extremely important, we found that without having the assessment, we were not able to organise any care either in the home or in a facility.

Well the ACAT was been done,  we were able to start organising some in home care for them both, well true to our NOT good luck, there were NO available high care packages in our area so we had to look for an alternative, residential care for Dad as neither Mum, Greg or I are able to cope with his care as he we work full time and his needs were more than we could cope with. I started applying for any residential care in the whole Perth area as I had tried in Mandurah / Rockingham area with no beds available.

After applying to over 30 facilities to find initially respite for Dad, I was starting to get very depressed after working a full day at work, then coming home and having people and other animals in our home and getting constant negative responses. We haven’t had anyone living with us for nearly 10 years now so it was a huge adjustment. I had received responses from about 25 facilities by either phone or email ( during those weeks my left ear got so sore from constantly being on the phone) and I was starting to think that Greg and I would not be able to take our annual (and very needed) break, I received a call from a facility in Carlisle at 9am and the woman was lovely, when she told me that unfortunately she couldn’t help me, I burst into tears and said that was just the way our luck ran, she told me that she would ring around their other facilities and see what she could do for me. By 1pm, I had all but given up hope, when my mobile rang and it was the care facility in Mandurah and the best thing was that it is just over the road and round the corner, only a 10 minute walk from home.

It was obviously meant to be, well Dad has now been placed in care, just around the corner and unfortunately this will be his new home, while Mum is going to stay with us until she feels that she needs to go into care herself.

Dealing with Centrelink on their behalf has been an absolute NIGHTMARE!!!

My mummy has been extremely helpful with this process as she has had a great more time to be able to research things for me, so I would like to send an enormous thankyou to her for all of her support and help through this very difficult time. I completed all of the forms for Centrelink to be able to act on their behalf and change their details. The documents were signed 27th November and hand delivered by mummy (after waiting for 2 hours in the Centrelink office) on Monday 2nd December, I received a response from them 6th January advising that some of the paperwork that was included in the bundle of paperwork handed in (I have taken copies of all of the paperwork included in the bundle handed in as there were several documents for both Mum & Dad, and I don’t trust people to do their work properly.

I spent more than 5 hours dealing with Centrelink on the phone and online on Tuesday trying to sort out this stuff, on hold for 40 minutes before being answered and then another 30 minutes before I was able to speak to the supervisor. When I eventually got to speak to her thankfully, she was very helpful.

This post might seem like nothing but a huge whinge, but there are two things that we have learned from all of this is that it is NEVER too soon to have an enduring power of attorney in place as in Greg’s dad’s case it was too late, we now have to go down the path of guardianship and administration which is done through the courts and takes more than 8 weeks, and we would not willingly put anyone through what we have been over the last few weeks, and that in a blink of an eye Life can get in the way of all the things that you love.

 

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IMHO – Harcourts Mandurah Property Managers are useless


We have had nothing but trouble with Harcourts Mandurah as managing agents for our properties, there is NOTHING that I can say that is positive about them. We have taken our properties away from them and given them to RMA (Rental Management Australia) who have provided nothing but exceptional service, I would recommend them any day.

If you have Rental properties in Mandurah DON’T use Harcourts Mandurah as they are worse than BLOODY USELESS.

 

Review of the winter cooking class at our club MOFSC – French cuisine


I signed up for cooking classes for winter last week, and the first class was last night. French cuisine.

cooking classes

 

 

I didn’t have anything to eat when I got home from work so by the time I got to the club for the lessons, I was beyond hungry.

We were greeted with a glass of champagne (orange juice in my case) while we waited for all of the participants to arrive.

Once everyone had arrived we made our way into the kitchen we found our possies, mine was on a stool close to the chef so I could hear him.

He handed out the menus and biros to make any notes and then we started.

The entrée was eye fillet steak with creamy mashed sweet potato with champagne & mushroom sauce (full of cream), however we all decided that the entire meal was going to be low or NO fat as there was that much cream and butter on the ingredient lists. The steak was cooked to perfection, I eat my steak medium rare and could not fault it. The sweet potato was roasted whole with the skin on, Izzy (the chef) explained that if you boil the sweet potato it absorbs a great deal of water and is not as creamy when mashed.

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The main course was lobster thermidor and potato wedges, the lobster was cooked just to perfection, the secret to the wedges, according to Izzy, is in your deep fryer, par cook them, take them out let them cool slightly and then put them in the fridge, when you are ready to cook them ready to eat, ensure that the oil is at temperature and put them straight in. They were just fantastic.

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The dessert was apple soufflé with salted caramel sauce, the only way to explain this was absolutely devine!!. I have eaten a lot of soufflés in my time, but this was the best, I suppose because we participated in the cooking, I peeled the apples.

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Sorry about the picture, I remembered to take the photo after I had eaten it.

The staff had decorated the table for the meal beautifully.

The cost of the course including instruction, a glass of champagne of arrival, a 3 course meal and drinks during the meal was $45. What an absolute bargain and a great night out.

I had said to Grumpy before I left, that I wouldn’t be surprised if one of our friends was there as she participates in most things at the club. Both her and her husband were there, they both asked where Grumpy was and I said that he didn’t want to come.

When I got home I asked him if he had wanted to come, his response was that he wasn’t invited!!!! I asked if he would like to come to the next class and he said NO! I didn’t feel guilty at all.

I have booked into all 4 classes. I would certainly recommend them to any one who wants to learn how to cook something as well as a nice night out. The next one is on Grumpy’s birthday (ooh!!) and the next morning we fly to Sydney for the boat show so looking forward to it on all counts.

One of the questions on the questionnaire about the evening was what would you like to be included in the next course. When Izzy asked Sharon to pass him the brown onion to cut up for the thermidor sauce, she said they didn’t have any, we would just have to use the red onions, everyone thought it was so funny. So my answer to this question was brown onions. LOL!!!

The highlight of the night was when we sat down to the meal, Izzy, his assistant Sharon (his wife) Caitlyn (I think the title is correct, function co-ordinator for the club) and Tanja (not sure of her job title, but she is always at the club organising the wait staff and restaurant, so I apologise if I have got this wrong) these guys sat with us and joined in with the meal.

 

 

 

 

 

Going to my first concert tonight – PINK


We are going to see PINK tonight, my first ever concert, we fogging oping to go into the city on the train from Mandurah into the city, drinks & nibbles for the pre show function at the Sheraton.

Should I Wear something Pink???

it’s going to be quite cold so I will need to rug up, so I could wear a pink scarf!

Given that the pre show function is at the Sheraton, I suppose I should dress up a little bit, I thought black jeans, black boots with a little heel (have to walk from the train station to the Sheraton and then to the new adrenaline and then back to the train station at the end of the concert) a beautiful Noni be cream sheer pleated blouse with bell sleeves and pearls and beads on the collar , a BooRadley black patch embossed and pleather vest (it has beautiful shape) and a black PingPong embossed jacket, and off course a pair of black leather gloves, can’t help to add my Princess status item most (most of our friends call me princess apparently I am precious).

 

 

 

Thankyou for a Beautiful Mother’s day


I spent a lovely mother’s day today with my Mum, my daughter in law, her mother, her future sister in law and her mother and it was a lovely day.

Granma and I caught the train from Mandurah into the city and walked to the Duxton to have high tea, we were nearly an hour early but it was lovely to just sit in the foyer and talk.

Our reservation was for lunch time and it was just lovely. I had a separate tier of food as I don’t eat cheese, but the selections for everybody were just divine.

I had texts from both of my boys, except 1 of them sent me a text first wishing me a happy birthday and then remembering it was mother’s day, I was lucky and got another one, stating “Mother’s Day“.

I also got a beautiful bunch of pink roses from my lovely daughter in law.

Thankyou ladies for a lovely day.

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Restaurant review – Artizan Mandurah (formerly The Stage Door)


Mandurah Foreshore

Mandurah Foreshore (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Grumpy tried to ring and book tea for 4 at the stage door, I had told him the evening before that the restaurant had changed it’s name to Artizan (mummy told me, because I asked her to ring the stage door and get a quote for catering the food for her 70th birthday party that we are having at our house when she found out the name had changed) and the phone number was not in use any more. He drove to the restaurant made a booking and grabbed a business card.

Our reservation was for 6.30pm but we arrived at 6.15pm and sat at the bar for a drink, unfortunately they didn’t have Kalhua or Tia Maria, the only things I drink so I settled for a squash, Grumpy ordered a Hahn 3 1/2   and the Sharon  & Carl arrived, ordered their drinks and commented on the amount of variety of beers that would be on tap in the near future.

We were talking to the Venue Manager before we went to our table about the issues with most restaurants in Mandurah where the service is slow and the wait staff walk around with blinkers and don’t offer more drinks to keep the patrons satisfied, she advised us that this wouldn’t happen. We thought we would wait and see.

We made our way to our table anxious to see the menu as it is great to go to a new restaurant and try the menu.

The others ordered chorizo and scallops for their entrée and I ordered chicken tenderloins

The chorizo and scallops was beautifully presented on long rectangle plates with a slice of lime, my chicken tenderloins were on a bed of sweet potato mash, with rocket, chilli jam, freshly steamed asparagus, it was presented beautifully and we couldn’t fault our entrees, they were divine.

We all ordered a different main, Grumpy ordered the Moroccan chicken tagine with dukkah cous cous, Carl ordered the rib eye with salad and chips, Sharon ordered the chicken breast wrapped in prosciutto on a bed of fresh vegetables and I ordered the lamb back straps on creamy mash with wilted spinach and roasted tomato jus. They were all exceptional meals.

All through the meal the staff were attentive, constantly offered drinks when our glasses were nearing empty and asked if our meals were acceptable.

We ordered dessert, Sharon and I had pre ordered the creme brulee with pralene, wafers and ice cream, the boys ordered sticky date pudding, and while we were waiting for our desserts to come we were quite concerned about 2 fellows sitting at the table next to us, they were jigging their legs and had not received a meal at their table for a considerable time, the venue manager brought a plate of garlic bread to the table, they didn’t touch it, we were even more concerned now, they had been there for over an hour with no food,  one of the wait staff spoke to the men and then the venue manager came over and spoke to them again, and about 15 minutes after that, another man walked in and sat on the bench seat at the table, (the small table had only been sent for 2 and not 3) they pulled another table to theirs and ordered their guest a drink.

Our desserts came and our brulee was superb, the sticky date pudding however was a little dry with minimal sauce, I wouldn’t have enjoyed it.

We ordered coffee 1 mugacino and 1 mugacino 1/2 shot for me, the girl that took my order misheard my order and I thought it was a little funny when she asked would I like the cup topped up with hot milk. The coffee that came for was a  macchiato. She apologised profusely and my coffee was brought (hot) not long after.

We finished our meal and the boys went to pay while we stood outside and waited. They discussed the issues with the venue manager, she took it all on board and when they mentioned the fellows seated next to us, she explained that they came in to the restaurant without a booking in the busy meal time and they wanted to wait for their guest as they weren’t sure he would turn up. That settled that.

All in all an excellent evening. Would we go back, definitely.

The position of the restaurant in Mandurah is one of the best, on the water adjoined to the Mandurah performing arts centre.

I wish them well and we will certainly be back. 1 big bonus for us is that we can go by boat, the only draw back is that we can’t pull our boat up against the boardwalk as the pilons are too short and our gunnel would be underneath and not the ideal rafting position, however we can pull up at the old Amalfi (now a chocolate restaurant) jetty and just a little walk to the restaurant and a great night to be had – no driving home, we would just move the boat and anchor in the estuary.

Outfits for Thursday 28th February to Thursday 4th March 2013


IMAG0044     Diana Ferrari black with timber heels I have to apologise for not posting my outfits for a few weeks, I had the dreaded man flu, got it off Grumpy when he breathed on me, I did continue to take the photos and now I will get back to posting them

I wore this outfit on Thursday 28th February This top is a cheap overlay with a singlet underneath, the trousers are Philosophy harem pants. I wore these Diana Ferrari shoes and the necklace is from Noni B, it has broken 3 times and I still love it.

IMAG0046I was still feeling very unwell on Friday, so I took the day off and stayed home to rest before we took off on the weekend on the boat to Mangles, I wanted to make sure that whatever I wore, I was able to wear it comfortably on the boat, as I was going to have to pick up our mooring and connect the ropes and that can be a wet and slightly dangerous thing if not wearing the right clothing.

The under dress is Philosophy and very versatile, the vest is a Threads stripe and even though I don’t like to wear horizontal stripes, it doesn’t cover the entire front of my body so I was happy to wear it, the shorts are my trusty Noni B stretch shorts.

IMAG0047I wore this outfit on Saturday on the boat, the only visitors we had were our neighbours from across the canal that we met up with the evening before. Unfortunately I don’t remember the brand of this top but it has longer sleeves and was very comfortable to be able to lounge around given that I was not well. I wore another pair of trusty Noni B shorts. they go so well on the boat, no need to hang I just keep them in my travel bag ready to put on.

IMAG0051We were heading back to anchor in the estuary on Sunday (public holiday weekend) so I wanted something comfortable and a little warmer as I was going to be out on the front of the boat in the wind to drop the mooring ropes and to watch out for the direction of the anchor. This dress is a Qior dress and Noni B long shorts with cutouts on the bottom of the leg. I don’t wear the red shorts very often as I like to have the same colour when wearing red and that is hard as there are so many different colour reds.

IMAG0045I with Qior dress on Monday on the way back home after the long weekend with another pair of Noni B shorts

IMAG0048    White Novo shoes with flowers  Still not well on Tuesday back at work, so I needed an easy to care and wear outfit. This is a Cafe Late lace dress, I wore it with mid length white leggings that you couldn’t see as they were not as long as the dress. I wore these white Novo flower shoes, I bought them not long after the Novo shoe shop opened at Mandurah Forum and love them, even though they are looking a little worn. White shoes are very hard to find.

IMAG0049I wore this outfit on Wednesday and the entire outfit is from Philosophy, I just love the mix and max of this brand, they compile a story of each of the colour themes they have and this outfit I bought 2 years ago and this year they have brought out more items using the same fabric and colours. How sensible, now my mix and matching group of clothing has just gotten bigger.

IMAG0050   Taupe boots with taupe bag I wore this outfit on Thursday, it is a BooRadley outfit, harem pants and a blouson top with an unedged finish at the neck. I wore my favourite taupe shoes and my taupe shrug. I have worn this little shrug/bolero a lot over the last couple of